MLB Games Are Slow Again And Its Helping Older Hitters

Atop the hitting leaderboards this season, you’ll find an unexpected — yet familiar — name: 40-year-old David Ortiz leads baseball in Weighted Runs Created Plus, a full 12 points beyond wunderkind Mike Trout. Big Papi’s return to the ranks of the elite hitters corresponds with a de facto loosening of one of his least-favorite rules: a restriction on how much time batters can take to ready themselves for the next pitch. This season, the pace of play has begun to creep back toward 2014 levels, and older hitters such as Ortiz may be reaping the benefits.Just before the 2015 season, new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred added new rules designed to speed up the game. And they worked: after the average game took an all-time high of 3 hours and 2 minutes the previous year, it fell by 6 minutes in 2015. Manfred’s tweaks had the desired effect, and his attention moved to other problems in the game, like the lack of offense.But unlike offense, which continues to spike, Manfred’s pace-of-play fixes didn’t last long. The average game has nearly reverted to its 2014 high this year, at an even 3 hours. Part of that increase is due to the surge in offense — it takes longer to get 27 outs when outs are happening less frequently — but some of it comes from a decrease in pace, or the time between successive pitches. On average, the time between pitches has increased by 0.07 seconds per pitch compared to last season, which explains about 9 percent of MLB’s overall 4-minute increase in average game time.1Here, I am using PitchInfo data.Manfred’s rules aimed to shorten this time by forcing batters to keep one foot in the box between pitches, thus eliminating some hitters’ long and involved pre-pitch rituals. But the rule has numerous exceptions: if the hitter swings, steps back to avoid a pitch or even if he simply asks for a timeout, he may leave the box to refasten his gloves or kick the dirt. As hitters became more familiar with the rule, they began taking advantage of each exception, so that over the course of the 2015 season, time between pitches increased from just under 21 seconds at the beginning of the year to around 21.6 seconds by the end. That gradual slowing of the game’s pace has continued in 2016, with the average time between pitches swelling to 21.69 seconds.Whether because veterans command more respect or have a better grasp of the exceptions to the rules, older hitters have always moved a little slower at the plate than youngsters. In 2015, for instance, hitters older than 28 took 21.49 seconds between their pitches, while hitters age 28 and younger took 21.25 seconds.2I used age 28 because it was the median for MLB hitters in 2015, making it a rough dividing line between young and old. But this year, older hitters have widened that gap dramatically: They are taking 21.87 seconds between pitches on average, as opposed to only 21.47 for their younger counterparts. While both populations have seen their average pace decline, the difference between old and young has also expanded some 67 percent.3Older hitters tend to be more disciplined, and hitters’ counts tend to take more time to get into, so it’s possible that we’re seeing a decrease in pace as an effect, rather than a cause, of older hitters being better. However, even after adjusting for count and the presence of men on base, older hitters tend to take an additional 0.3 seconds per pitch, suggesting that the increased time is not just a result of superior plate discipline.As I wrote last year, some older hitters may derive special benefits from taking their time between pitches. Ortiz claims that the additional time lets him make better guesses about the next pitch, perhaps allowing him to offset a decline in raw bat speed with the benefit of experience. That benefit may not apply equally to less cerebral players, and so not all 40-year-olds are seeing the same success as Big Papi.But even if old hitters don’t derive any special time-related benefit relative to youngsters, they have still received the lion’s share of the extra seconds in MLB’s pace slowdown — and more time is correlated with better outcomes for hitters.4The correlation coefficients between time and linear weight value for both 2015 and 2016 were statistically significant with a p-value under 2.2e-16. This really shows up when the time between pitches exceeds 30 seconds: hitters produce an average of 0.05 runs5Using pitch-type linear weights. on those pitches, vs. -0.01 runs per pitch when hitters have 30 seconds or less to think. While there are thorny issues of correlation vs. causation here, it’s generally true that the longer a player has to ponder the next pitch, the better he fares. And this season, older hitters have gotten a disproportionate share of that extra time.Ortiz is far from the only veteran batter witnessing a late-career revival. Daniel Murphy has seen his performance soar far beyond expectations, and Robinson Cano is on pace to have one of his best seasons in 2016 after one of his worst in 2015. After years of steady decline by MLB’s senior citizens, the weighted age for MLB batters in 2015 was the lowest it had been since the early 1990s — but that figure has actually increased this season. In fact, MLB is seeing the largest single-year bump in WAR-weighted age since the strike-shortened 1994 season; before that, you have to go back to 1981 to see a similar swell.It’s hard to tell whether and how much of the resurgence of older hitters is due to additional time at the plate, vs. the many other factors which may be lengthening careers. On top of pace, we could also point to a combination of better training, medical advancements and a (potentially) juiced ball as prolonging hitters’ careers. But the next time you find yourself checking your watch mid-plate appearance, you’ll know who to blame for — and who may be benefitting from — MLB’s slower pace of play. read more

Mens basketball Ohio State loses to Maryland 7771 frustration continues for Buckeyes

Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams attempts a shot in the first half against Maryland at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 31. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorFrustration is mounting in Columbus, with the team, coaching staff and fan base. It’s been like this way for awhile.But after a disheartening loss to Iowa on Saturday and another single-digit home loss in a pivotal conference matchup, it doesn’t seem like the frustration around the Ohio State men’s basketball program will stop anytime soon. With a 77-71 defeat at the hand of No. 17 Maryland on Tuesday, the Buckeyes (13-10, 3-7 Big Ten) continued their descent down the Big Ten standings.The Terrapins (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) remain in first place in the conference with the win, riding the performance of freshman forward Justin Jackson who had 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4 for 7 from 3-point range.Junior forward Jae’Sean Tate led OSU with 20 points. Senior forward Marc Loving had 18.“We were playing on our heels defensively at the beginning of the game. They just sort of had their way with us,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “When guys are active, we’ve done a pretty good job. It’s got to be every possession. We got to get back to locking down on the defensive end.”At four different times, OSU cut the deficit to a single point. Loving drilled a 3 with 7:10 to go. Tate scored a layup at the 4:54 and 4:10 mark, each answered by a Maryland field goal.Sophomore guard C.J. Jackson hit two free throws with 2:35 on the clock, trailing the Terrapins 70-69. After a foul on the floor, Maryland’s go-to junior guard Melo Trimble buried a 3-ball to put the Terrapin lead back to four which sealed the game.The one-point deficit was symbolic of OSU’s season and its inability to simply get over the hump.“I think that at those certain times we have to believe that we have another gear,” Tate said. “You have to have even more of a sense of urgency. You have to want it a little more than the other team. At times, we did not do that.”OSU also found itself down by double digits early in the second half, which has become a theme in Big Ten play. Maryland closed the half on a 7-0 run to lead 42-36 at the half, then came right out of the gate and scored a quick four points in the second half.In the first four minutes before the first media timeout of each half, OSU gave up a combined 22 points. The Buckeyes also struggled with keeping Trimble and freshman guard Anthony Cowan out of the paint on drives to the basket. The two combined 22 points and nine of the team’s 15 assists.On the defensive glass, another struggle for OSU this season, the Buckeyes stumbled on executing long closeouts and rotating when boxing out. Sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle, particularly, was taken out of the game in the final 12 minutes despite being one of OSU’s best scorers.Matta said that move was strategic in the fact that Jackson was playing better than Lyle and the matchup favored using Jackson. However, the lack of focus on the defensive end is a visible problem and a fixable one.Aside from the opponent’s’ offensive rebounds and the ease that opponent’s guards have when driving the lane against OSU’s man-to-man defense, the effort and heart on the defensive end is worth questioning and it’s not something coaching can fix. It’s up to the player. Tate said that it should be obvious for players that they have to play with grit on the defensive end. For those who don’t, he didn’t have an answer as to why that is.“As the leaders on this team, we have to figure out ways to — if guys are in funks or if guys aren’t playing to the best of their ability — we have to figure out a way to lift them up,” he said. “But also, it’s on them to buy into us. We can’t lead if they don’t want to be led.”Up NextOhio State travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a battle with the Wolverines at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Crisler Center. It’s the team’s only meeting this year. read more

Ohio State footballs Bradley Roby accepts being broke with decision to wait

Ohio State rising redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby could have declared for the 2013 NFL Draft. After a season in which he ranked No. 7 in the nation in passes defended per game with 19 over 11 games played, Roby was a potential first-round draft pick. Instead, Roby put his NFL dreams on hold to return to Columbus and lead the Buckeyes’ secondary this season. Roby said the decision was not easy. He said he felt physically and mentally ready to play professionally, and was “50-50” on whether to declare before ultimately deciding to return. “I made my decision, I’m happy with it and I’m glad I took that step because it’s just going to make me better,” Roby said. “It’s going to make our team better as well … NFL can wait.” Roby said he plans to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, and expects to be a top-10 draft pick. “I feel like after another year, I’ll be even more ready, so that next year I can start right in and start right away for a team,” Roby said. Roby said he received advice from his coaches and talked to NFL players, but had to make his own decision. Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said he was honest with Roby throughout the decision process, and tried to make it a “business decision” for Roby although he wanted him to come back. “It’s very hard in a situation like this to not be selfish, because we’re better if he’s at Ohio State,” Coombs said. “He’s a grown man. He’s got to make a grown-man decision. And he can’t make it to please me, he can’t make it to please Coach Meyer and he can’t make it to please the Buckeye nation. He’s got to make it to please Bradley Roby. I think that he did.” Coombs said he believes Roby made an “outstanding decision,” and thinks Roby can meet his draft expectations next year. “I think his stock does nothing but go up, and I think it helps him down the road,” Coombs said. “I think next year, or whenever he decides to come out, he’s going to be a first-round pick, a top-10 pick, if he really wants to work. He’s not there yet … I’m going to help him get there.” Coombs said he has seen significant improvement in Roby this spring from where he was last spring. “What I’ve learned about Bradley through the course of the season … is how hard he works at studying the game,” Coombs said. “He is a very intelligent player. He’s gifted athletically, but that’s not where it ends, that’s where it begins. He has a great understanding of offense, he studies his opponent, he understand split rules, he knows what’s going on, he looks at formations and he’s making a plan. I don’t think he had that thought process last year at this time. Now he does.” Coombs added, however, that his expectation for the cornerback to be a first-round pick is not exclusive to Roby. “That’s the standard in our room,” Coombs said. “Be a first-round draft pick. If you’re not, figure out why not, and get to that point.” Asked about passing up the money that comes with playing professional football for another year, Roby said his plan for his career was more important. “Everybody struggles in college, but at the end of the day, I have a vision for the future and I see what’s coming to me in the future,” Roby said. “So I’ll be broke for a little bit longer, it’s OK. “I told a guy a long time ago I was going to be one of the best corners to ever be here. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished that yet.” Roby added that he needs to become a better leader in order to accomplish that. Roby said he felt he deserved to be a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive back, last season. He said one of his goals this year is to win the Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive player, but that the team’s success is more important than individual awards. “It starts with leadership,” Roby said. “I have to have leadership to make our whole defense better, ’cause you can’t be a Bednarik winner on a bad defense. I just want our defense to be one of the top in the country, and that’s all I’m worried about, I’m worried about everybody else first and all my accolades, they’re going to fall in place. “I was so worried about myself the first couple years … I was kind of a selfish player,” he added. “I already have leadership traits, a lot of people have told me that … I would go talk to guys one-on-one off the field but I have to have that leadership on the field. That’s what’s going to make other people better, and that’s what I’ve been working on.” Rising junior cornerback Doran Grant, who is expected to start across from Roby this season, said Roby has already provided him with leadership “like a big brother.” “He like another coach out there, for real,” Grant said. “It’s crazy, the knowledge of the game he has, and that’s why I try to always be around him.” With the Buckeyes replacing six starters in their defensive front seven, Roby said he and the other two returning starters in the secondary, rising senior Christian Bryant and rising redshirt senior C.J. Barnett, have to be the leaders of their defense. “We’ve got a lot of new guys up front and some people are hurt, so we’ve just got to be a leader and show them to play Silver Bullet defense,” Roby said. read more

TCI Public Reminded Smoking in NonSmoking Areas is an Offense

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, January 30, 2018 – Providenciales – The Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services hereby reminds the general public that it is unlawful to smoke in non-smoking areas.  Based on the Tobacco Control Law which came into force on April 1st 2016, a person shall not smoke or hold a lighted tobacco product in an enclosed public place, enclosed workplace or public conveyance. Government Buildings & Vehicles                                             Public parksHospitals & Medical facilities                                                     RestaurantsPublic lounges and Canteen Areas                                            CinemasAreas for public transportation                                                  Corridors, toilet areas, stairways and elevatorsHotels, motels, inns                                                                      Vehicles used for public transportationBars, Pool Halls, Clubs & Casinos                                             Reception rooms, lobbies or areas where the public have access.Schools                                                                                           Meetings and interview roomsShops & Shopping centresA person who contravenes this section of the law is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years. A manager, owner or lessee who consents to the smoking commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding eighteen months.  A person who wishes to smoke may smoke at least 35 feet beyond an enclosed public place or any place previously listed.Notice is also being given to Owners or Managers of outdoor bars or outdoor restaurants that an application must be made first to designate an outdoor smoking area.  All outdoor smoking areas must be in line with the Tobacco Control Regulations and approved by the Environmental Health Department and the Planning Department.Tobacco use is the second leading cause of death globally and is one of the main risk factors for chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases.  This Law is part of the Ministry of Health’s ongoing efforts to mitigate against the harmful effects of second hand tobacco smoke and to ensure that the health of the general population is being preserved.For more information about Tobacco Control Laws contact the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence by calling (649) 338-3613/(649) 338-4737. Schedule 3 of the Ordinance also bans smoking in the following: Related Items:last_img read more

Western Melbourne Well respect FFAs marquee criteria

first_imgWestern Melbourne says they will respect FFA’s marquee calls but will aim at bringing foreign talents who will help build the club.Western Melbourne hopes to sign Scott Brown who is currently the Captain of Scottish side Celtic as their marquee but reports from Scottish Daily Record says the FFA has refused to allow Western Melbourne to dip into the governing body’s marquee fund to help sign the 33-year-old Bhoys captain.The club has now come out to state they will respect they’ll respect any marquee fund decisions from FFA whether or not the Scott Brown deal pulls through.“Whether or not a player qualifies for funding from FFA is up to FFA criteria, we respect whatever they deem fit,” Lou Sticca, one of the major players behind Western Melbourne, told FTBL.Mikey Johnston, CelticJohnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“Western Melbourne is about recruiting foreign players that we feel will be important to our club in our formative seasons.“What this means is setting the right leadership from our foreigners to help the team be successful on the park, but importantly in dressing rooms and at training, to help build a real football culture.“Strong and experienced players that will protect our younger players and give them the confidence to express themselves.”last_img read more

The Pros and Cons of Mobile Payment Services

first_imgAugust 13, 2012 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 5 min read Shutterstock.comApps for accepting customer credit cards on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming big business. Take for instance San Francisco-based mobile payments startup Square, which recently inked a deal with Starbucks to process all of the Seattle coffee giant’s credit and debit transactions. And major companies such as PayPal and accounting software provider Intuit have created their own payment apps, too.For small businesses, that means there are more options for simpler credit card processing or an inexpensive point-of-sale system. But from fee structures to device compatibility and support, there are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the mobile payment providers that business owners should know about before getting started.Here’s a look at pros and cons for four different mobile payment apps, and suggestions for who might want to consider using them:SquareAfter launching in 2010, Square is one of the most popular mobile payments services, claiming to have more than 2 million users. Its card reader is a small, white square that plugs directly into smartphones and tablets.Pros: The Square app has an easy-to-navigate design with big, clearly-labeled buttons. The iPad version — Square Register — enables users to add custom product photos, which can help simplify the check-out process for cashiers.An online dashboard tracks detailed sales data and businesses can look at charts analyzing day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month performance. Businesses can create custom rewards programs for repeat customers, such as digital punchards. And the “Pay with Square” feature lets patrons open a virtual tab and pay via their smartphones without having to swipe a credit card.Cons: Other than an online Help Center Square offers little in the way of human tech support. That can make setting up custom features, such as sales tax rates, difficult for non tech-savvy users.Price: Square has a 2.75 percent swipe fee, plus an additional 3.5 percent and a 15-cent transaction fee for card numbers that are keyed in manually.Who should use it: Business owners who are just getting started and want a moderately easy-to-use mobile payments service should consider going with Square, despite its lack of hands-on tech support.Related: 8 Great Time-Tracking Apps for FreelancersIntuit GoPaymentMountain View, Calif.-based Intuit offers Intuit GoPayment, which is built specifically to work with its QuickBooks accounting software.Pros: GoPayment transactions sync directly with QuickBooks PC and its web-based counterpart, QuickBooks Online. For Intuit Merchant Service users, it works with QuickBooks for Mac as well. Being able to flow transactions directly into your accounting software can save time that would otherwise be spent manually moving that data.Other perks include the ability to add up to 50 users per account and having automatic, location-based sales tax calculation for transactions.Cons: First, the physical reader is bulky — about three times larger than Square’s. Additionally, Intuit GoPayment doesn’t make it easy to key in cash payments, so you’ll have find another way to process those transactions and upload them to QuickBooks.Price: For $12.95 per month, you can cut the basic transaction fee Intuit takes per transaction from 2.7 percent to 1.7 percent (and from 3.7 percent to 2.7 percent for keyed rates). There are no transaction fees.Who should use it: For dedicated QuickBooks users, Intuit GoPayment offers significant convenience. But brick-and-mortar businesses that take cash as often as cards might want to think twice.Related: 10 Online Invoicing Services for Small-Business OwnersPayAnywhereBy Troy, Mich.-based merchant services and credit card processing company North American Bancard, PayAnywhere has been in business since 1992 — longer than any of the other services.Pros: PayAnywhere offers over-the-phone support, with separate phone lines for tech support and customer service. There is a live chat option on the PayAnywhere website, plus comprehensive video tutorials demonstrating the app’s features. PayAnywhere also is one of the few mobile payment apps to actively support BlackBerry devices.Cons: It works with any Apple AirPrint compatible device or Star thermal printer, which can be used to connect receipt printers and cash drawers to your device. But this only works for Apple devices, so you’re limited to using an iPhone or iPad.Price: PayAnywhere charges 2.69 percent per swipe, with 3.49 percent plus a 19-cent transaction fee for keyed transactions.Who should use it: For business owners who’d rather entrust their payment processing to a company that’s been doing it for more than just a few years, PayAnywhere might be the best option. And its 24/7 support can help mitigate any technical concerns.PayPal HereLaunched in March, this service connects with a user’s PayPal account and lets users process payments and track everything that happens for both online and offline sales.Pros: PayPal Here accepts the widest range of payments, including online invoices and payments through PayPal’s mobile app. Using a smartphone or tablet camera, it can also accept checks and take credit card payments without using the detachable card reader.And instead of having to wait one or more days for processing, funds are immediately available if spent with a PayPal Debit card.Cons: There is no dedicated app for the iPad or other tablets.Price: PayPal charges 2.7 percent per card swipe and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for keyed transactions.Who should use it: PayPal users will most likely start with this service. So should businesses that do significant amounts of face-to-face and online sales.Related: Using an iPad to Boost Productivity (Video) last_img read more

Governor signs bill allowing court to grant restricted driving privileges

first_img The governor this week signed into law a measure that allows a court to grant restricted driving privileges when reviewing a determination by the Secretary of State (SOS) to deny or revoke a driver’s license.Currently, only the Secretary of State (SOS) can grant these privileges due to legislation enacted in 1998. Bill sponsor, Rep. Peter J. Lucido said that a person’s ability to be a productive member of society cannot possibly be accurately determined by the SOS.“Driving can mean the difference between productivity and unemployment,” said Rep. Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “This is a determination that deserves careful consideration on a case-by-case basis and its importance should not be reduced to a pile of paper work in Lansing. Restoring this authority to local judges provides more due process, ensuring a more fair and objective approach.”House Bill 4436 was signed into law as Public Act 117 of 2016. Categories: Lucido News 19May Governor signs bill allowing court to grant restricted driving privilegeslast_img read more